Blossom Hill Veterans Hospital

Veterans in the Cleveland, Akron, and Canton areas had fought for over a decade for a veterans' hospital in the local area. In 1938, President Franklin Roosevelt answered their call and authorized the building of a veterans' hospital in the Cleveland area. This became the Blossom Hill Veterans Hospital, located in Broadview Heights. The Broadview Heights Recreation Center is now at the former site of the hospital. The remnants of Blossom Hill can still be seen in satellite photographs of the area such as the tree-lined driveway. In the midst of the Great Depression, Roosevelt was interested in projects that would create jobs and provide valuable public services as part of the New Deal. The Blossom Hill Veterans Hospital did exactly that.

The Public Works Administration allocated $1,090,000 ($17 million in 2012) for the Blossom Hill Project. The state of the art hospital opened in November of 1940 to great fanfare and celebration. The Blossom Hill Veterans Hospital created 150 new jobs. Although economic conditions were not as bad as the early 1930s, Clevelanders still appreciated new opportunities in 1940.

Tuberculosis patients primarily occupied the 278 beds at Blossom Hill. A contagious respiratory infection, tuberculosis, often shortened to TB, was a common disease prior to World War II when it was often called consumption. Fever, chills, night sweats, and loss of appetite with attendant weight loss characterize TB. However, the most dramatic symptoms are chest pain and coughing and coughing up blood in particular. Tuberculosis was also terminal. The Blossom Hill provided long term care for TB patients, as they needed to be quarantined to prevent further spread of the illness. Doctors and nurses could only make TB patients as comfortable as possible in the absence of a cure.

Beginning in the 1960s, antibiotics were successfully used were used to treat tuberculosis. Sanatoriums and hospitals that treated TB patients were no longer necessary and began to close. Blossom Hill Veterans Hospital was one of them. Blossom Hill closed its doors in 1965 and its remaining patients were transferred to the Brecksville Veterans Administration Hospital.

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